A consistent brand identity is the glue that connects every piece of your customer’s experience. Unless your brand is reinforced consistently, your customers can feel disconnected from you, and ultimately, hesitate to buy or become repeat customers.
And where is the best place to get your people to become your brand champions? Training! But first, let’s stop to consider companies that have used powerful branding to build their success.
Companies with Strong and Consistent Brand Messaging
- L. Bean’s famous “Guaranteed to Last®” brand promise is communicated on the company website, in product packaging and shipping documents, in company stores, in calling centers, and in every interaction with customers. Customers know that if an L.L. Bean product ever fails, they can return it, no questions asked.
- Meineke® uses the brand message “Taking Care of Your Car Shouldn’t Take Over Your Life®” to let customers know that the company saves time, relieves worry, and makes life simpler. It is a strong brand built on service and convenience.
- BMW has long promised to build “The Ultimate Driving Machine®,” and uses that brand message consistently in advertising, social media, retail selling and other contact points.
- The Walt Disney Company’s promise of “Timeless Family Entertainment” is communicated by company employees at theme parks, retail outlets and all other customer contact points.
How can you develop a brand that is as robust as those and then train your employees to communicate it? Let’s take a closer look at some strategies that work.
Make a Commitment to Train Your Employees to Become “Brand Stewards”
When designing training, most companies jump immediately to identifying processes to be improved or skills to be taught. Many miss the opportunity to train their people – beginning when they are new hires – to act as great stewards of their brands. That is a missed opportunity. Whether you are developing training in-house or working with a training development company, look for opportunities to engage people with your brand.
Here are some steps to take:
- First, invest time to develop, clarify and define your brand. You can only train people to understand and communicate it after you have distilled it down to a simple and unique brand promise – something that you can communicate in just a few clear words. Although your brand promise should be simple, developing it requires help and participation from a large cross-section of people who can include your top management, marketing personnel or agencies, your employees from all ranks, your franchisees and dealers, and even external constituents like vendors.
- Make sure your team members understand your brand and take advantage of opportunities to communicate your brand promise. Everyone in your organization – from your top executives to the people who staff your parking garage – can take an active role in building your brand promise by modeling behaviors that reinforce your values and using the right words.
- Tell your company story and the story of your founders during training sessions. Your company lore and history tell a lot about who you are and what your brand stands for. One good way to communicate that high-value information is to show videos that explain your company history during training sessions.
- When interacting with marketing and advertising managers and agencies, make sure they understand your brand and what your company is all about. Encourage them to move your brand messaging front and center.
- Encourage your company’s higher level executives to talk about what your brand is and what it stands for. Remind then to communicate your brand in the speeches they give, the media appearances they make, the articles they write, and more.
- Train and remind your IT people to communicate your brand premise in your website content, social media channels, printed company materials – and everywhere else. Use company videos, customer testimonials and other media to reinforce branding effectively.
A brand can only work hard for you if it is lived every day in everything everyone in your organization does. Training of all kinds provides a setting where your brand can be most effectively understood. When people are in a room and learning, they can also learn about your great brand.